Simons Foundation: Ancient Fossils Suggest Complex Life Evolved on Land.
“A petrified bedbug would end the dispute.” Couldn’t resist that pullquote.
Ahram.org: Serendipity aids Egypt in struggle to recover stolen heritage.
“It’s not just pharaonic artifacts that are being stolen. Muslim rulers dating back to the seventh century left their mark on Egyptian architecture, and since 2011 thieves have torn decorative pieces out of mosques and other Islamic monuments in central Cairo.” Nothing’s sacred, it seems.
US Nat’l Library of Medicine: An Ancient Medical Treasure at Your Fingertips.
If you don’t even trust aspirin, here’s an option for you.
Academia.edu: Purported Medical Diagnoses of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
Reading this shows what a difficult time modern science has with Occam’s razor.
The Millions: 450 Years of Juliets - On Women Making Shakespeare.
“Shakespeare’s Juliet is bold, Romeo’s equal. She initiates their relationship, telling Romeo ‘take all myself’ before she even knows for certain of his interest or commitment, bubbling over with her desire past the bounds of what might be considered correct behavior, and yet her frankness, as she calls it, is what makes her magnetic.”
The Atlantic: Booksellers - We Got Shakespeare’s Personal Dictionary on eBay.
“Scholars say that William Shakespeare used as many as 30,000 different words in his plays and poetry. They further estimate that he knew about a quarter of all the words circulating in English during his lifetime. This is remarkable, and it raises a question: How did he learn them?” My emphasis. Hmmm. As I’ve said before, these ‘miracle’ finds with little or no provenance are fodder for forgers.
[Oh, and Happy Birthday, Will.]
NY Times: Repatriated Works Back in Their Countries of Origin.
“Some works, returned with great fanfare, have taken on greater meaning back on view in the countries or cultures that produced them. Other times, after the triumphalism fades, they fall victim to benign neglect, or are not always easy to reach.” Then there is the problem of Egypt.
ORBIS. Travel the known world, ancient Roman style.
“For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.”
DiscoverMag: Over the Hill? Cognitive Speeds Peak at Age 24.
“It’s not all bad news for those of us on the wrong side of 24, however. Researchers found that older players compensated for their slower cognitive speed by making the game simpler. For example, older players retain their skill by using more keyboard shortcuts to make up for their motor-speed declines.” Makes me feel a little better.
SciAm: Massive Turquoise Trade Network of Ancient Pueblos Revealed.
“In the new study, researchers traced Chaco Canyon turquoise artifacts back to resource areas in Colorado, Nevada and southeastern California. The results definitively show, for the first time, that the ancestral Puebloans – best known for their multistoried adobe houses – in the San Juan Basin area of New Mexico did not get all of their turquoise from a nearby mining site, as was previously believed.” Instead of those amazing ancient ‘roads’ (no horses!) being a one-way delivery route supplying Chaco, trade was running back and forth across much larger distances. Cool.
Epictetus, Discourses 1.2.
“You must know how highly you value yourself and at what price you will sell yourself; different men sell themselves at different prices.”
Yale Daily News: Study explores beliefs about free will.
“The study establishes that people have a greater belief in free will after thinking about others committing immoral actions compared to committing morally neutral actions. This finding suggest that belief in free will is a fluid concept ...”
ElPais: Spain’s lost Celtiberian helmets.
Such rare items shouldn’t really be sold on the private market. I know, I know - if I found such a treasure, I’d probably sell off some of the kit to recoup excavation costs, keeping the best back. But still. I’d sure like to see these in a museum, given their amazing state of preservation and historical significance.
The Smart Set: From the Ashes.
“Of course, now that Pompeii has been excavated, the site is becoming a normal ruin. It is falling into decay. But not the calchi, and that is why the calchi are so uncanny. The calchi aren’t ruins and they never can be. The calchi are like snapshots of death. For that reason, they make the death of Pompeii as palpable and present to us now as it was two thousand years ago. ” You can view some of these at the Franklin Institute in Philadephia until April 27.
New Yorker: Telling African-American History Through Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations.
ArtDaily: Spain’s ‘Holy Grail’ faces sceptical inquisition; Experts say a myth.
Braudel: The Structures of Everyday Life, Civilization and Capitalism (Vol. 1).
For the SCOTUS-concerned: “On the other hand, looking up instead of down from the vast plane of the market economy, one finds that active social hierarchies were constructed on top of it: they could manipulate exchange to their advantage and disturb the established order. In their desire to do so — which was not always consciously expressed — they created anomalies, ‘zones of turbulence’ and conducted their affairs in a very individual way. At this exalted level, a few wealthy merchants in eighteenth-century Amsterdam or sixteenth-century Genoa could throw whole sectors of the European or even world economy into confusion, from a distance.” We continue to be impervious to history.
SciAm: Stem-cell Scientist Found Guilty of Misconduct.
“A six-person committee — three RIKEN scientists, two university researchers and a lawyer — looked at six problems. Four were dismissed as innocent errors, but in two cases the committee found that Obokata had manipulated data in an intentionally misleading fashion. They branded it scientific misconduct.”
SciAm: Multiverse Controversy Heats Up over Gravitational Waves.
The Dish: A Bachelor’s Degree In Gettin’ Paid.
Happy to see NM Tech on the list.
The Airship: Today in Literary History - Percy Shelley Thrown Out of Oxford.
More often than ever appreciated, a troubled child becomes a brilliant adult.
ArtDaily: Two restored colossal pharaoh statues unveiled in Egypt.
ScienceDaily: Devasting consequences of scarcity of ‘knowledgeable elders’.
“When the number of informed individuals falls below a certain level, or the strength of their determination to go in a certain direction falls below a certain threshold, the migratory pathway disappears abruptly.” I would imagine political strategists are noting this down ...